View Part I here: Choosing Art For your Home Part I
Since I am covering the what, when, where, how, and why of choosing art for your home(see the link at the top for the "why"), let's get started on the "When".
I did have to think about how am I going to do a "when" about art? Should it be a historical art periods? That seems to fit more under "what", as in what style of art do you like. Then it occurred to me that the most significant "when" I can think of in the choosing of art, is when in the design process should you choose it?
There's two main possibilities that I can think of. The first idea is to choose the art first. This would be great in the case of finding an artwork that you love. You love it so much that you are willing to make a place for it. Even if it means redecorating. This probably doesn't happen all the time. But imagine if you had something as famous, beautiful and rare as an original Vincent Van Gogh. Let's pretend for a second you had his Starry Night painting. You obviously wouldn't get rid of it because it didn't match your sofa. You would get rid of the sofa first. Now most of us can't afford something that precious, but we can usually afford something that we love. If you have the luxury of being in the middle of a home decor project or are about to start, then finding a piece of art you love, first, might make your new room decor all the better when you build it around art you love.
The situation most of us would find ourselves in is that we already have furniture and finishings that we have to work around. We don't have the luxury of changing our sofa to match our art. This does make it more difficult. We then have to keep things like color schemes and decor styles in mind when looking for art. While I don't think you have to "match" your sofa, you do need to make sure it "goes". Of course if you do find art that you just love, but it clashes with your sofa, you can always consider putting it in another room until you replace your sofa(even if that's 5 years from now). If you're sure you love that piece, whether it be a sculpture or painting or photograph, it's better not to let it slip away!
Using the first option(choosing art before your decorate) gives you the option to make your art the focal point for the room. If you have a perfect piece of art that really speaks to you and speaks about you(as I mentioned in Part I) then using it as your room's focal point is a fantastic option. Of course, just because you choose your art second doesn't mean you can't make it a focal point, it might be more difficult since you can't choose just by love as you also have to take into consideration the decor you already have.
A couple of basic tips for choosing art if you already have your decor in place:
Consider the colors in your room. Do you have warm colors? If you are using warm colors in your room you are better off keeping with warm colors in the art. Sepia tones might be better then black and white if you are thinking about monochromatic art. Bronze sculptures might be better then chrome, etc.
Consider your rooms overall style. Do you have a contemporary style in the room? You'll probably want to keep your art contemporary. At the very least you'll want to keep frames contemporary. If your room is traditional or perhaps you have craftsman style furniture you probably will want to avoid abstract or modern art.
Go to Part III: Choosing Art for your Home Part III